Travelling to London by train the other day, I was struck by the silence in a carriage filled with people. A single voice could be heard, talking loudly about “marketing strategies going forward”. Despite a warm autumnal sun shimmering outside on morning mist, the light inside the carriage was cold and blue-tinged.
No-one was asleep however.
The carriage, as such, was in reality empty. Its occupants were all elsewhere, prosthetically displaced.
The photographer Eric Pickersgill would describe them as removed. I would recommend his photographic essay on “the splitting of attention between those who are physically with you and those who are not.” The images are chillingly familiar.